With the usual optimism and fanfare, the major networks have announced their new season television schedules. But what they never talk about are the programs rejected—the prequels, sequels and clones that didn’t make the cut.
Here’s a sampling of what viewers won’t be seeing this fall:
“Survivor: Beverly Hills”
Two teams of contestants, thrust suddenly into the concrete desert of Rodeo Drive with only deli lunches and Evian water to sustain them, must contend with snooty security guards, 20-minute parking restrictions, and hordes of tourists brandishing digital cameras.
The latest spinoff in this popular crime scene investigation series probes tsetse fly larva found in the remains of an Alaskan bush pilot who crashed on a glacier after eating a poisoned moose burger.
“Lawn & Border: Crabgrass”
Nursery detectives go undercover to discover who’s responsible for the rampant weed growth strangling victims’ backyards.
The camera goes inside the hectic, pressurized atmosphere of the East Wing, where chefs, wine stewards, gardeners and maids struggle daily to keep the White House in boeuf bourguignon, chilled champagne, fresh-cut flowers and lilac-scented sheets and pillow cases.
“The Absolutely, Positively, Most Disgusting Moments From Fear-Driven Reality Shows”
Contestants test their moral fiber (and stomachs) by eating worms and bugs, being buried alive, crawling naked through a tunnel filled with blood-sucking leeches, and watching nonstop reruns of the Jerry Springer show.
An out-of-work male computer technician whose job has been outsourced to Bangladesh becomes the unwilling nanny to three out-of-control brats and a willful Siamese cat.
“Desperate Housewives Lost During an Extreme Makeover”
In an attempt to shore up sagging ratings, ABC combines three of its most successful shows and transports the casts to the Galapagos Islands, where they are threatened by giant marine iguanas that have gorged on the midnight buffet leftovers dumped by cruise ships.
HBO prepares for the final season of its blockbuster crime family series “The Sopranos” with a prequel about young mobsters-to-be whose voices have changed.
“23 Hours, Thirteen Minutes”
Jack Bauer turns up again to save the day but his watch stops unexpectedly and the series ends before he can prevent:
— A missile hitting Washington D.C.
— A nuclear device vaporizing Los Angeles.
— A poison gas release choking Chicago.
—The President realizing that Bauer has been creating disasters just to keep a job.
“The Quik-Kleen Toilet Bowl”
The lowest-ranked college football teams in the nation, Nos. 124 and 125, meet in Schenectady, N.Y., with the Wooden Handle Rubber Plunger Trophy at stake.